Between the time of entering a restaurant and the time one exits, that feeling of extraordinary hospitality lingers with each and every one of us. Whether you are dining at yours truly, Vita Nova, or at a café in Volterra, Italy, the dining experience will always will be impacted differently according to your surroundings and environment.
Different countries have different dining cultures that can effect the whole meal. For example, in the U.S., servers are typically expected to touch base with their table and guests to see if everything is going fine and if there is anything he or she can do to enhance their meal or experience there. The average time spent seated at a casual dining facility is roughly about 60 minutes. This was contrary to the dining experience my friend Claudia experienced in Florence, Italy. When asked about what her favorite aspect of Italian dining v.s. American dining, she said "The wine at dinner and just the feeling of never being rushed! You had to ask for the bill and meals were almost three hours long!" If there was one thing that Claudia could change about American dining, it would be that "American dining should be more relaxed and broken down into courses. It makes you appreciate the family aspects of dining together."
For my personal experience studying abroad this past winter in South Africa, we had the fortunate opportunities to dine at Cape Town's finest seafood restaurants. These scenic restaurants had outdoor patios where you and a group of 5 friends could enjoy a signature kingklip and seafood medley platter while watching personal cruise ships float across the bay during a beautiful 6:30 pm sunset. When it came to service, we felt like we were royalty. We had 4 servers who seemed like they were in the restaurant industry for 20 years tending to our table of 6. Not only did they make us feel welcomed, they made us feel special and unique compared to everyone else around us. By the time we had finished our meal, our server and all 6 of us were on a first name basis! I genuinely cannot remember the last time I felt as though I had made a friend after expecting to just get dinner at a restaurant. If you decide you want to enjoy an adventure packed vacation in New Zealand or a relaxing and history filled tour through any European country, the hospitality is going to make or break your trip. That is why I as a hospitality business management student strive to learn as much as I can about impeccable hospitality and service.